Dental caries diagnosis

The DIAGNOdent Pen is a laser fluorescence caries detection system that measures fluorescence of sound tooth structure compared to demineralized tooth structure. The DIAGNOdent Pen illuminates the tooth surface using a diode laser. As the laser enters the tooth surface it causes porphoryins and other chromophores to fluoresce. The DIAGNOdent system captures and analyzes this fluorescence. Porphoryins are given off as metabolites of bacteria, responsible for the carious process. Researchers have shown that porphoryins could be extracted from caries lesions and are useful in distinguishing sound tooth structure from caries affected teeth.

The DIAGNOdent system is accurate at finding caries when it indeed exists. The DIAGNOdent system has been studied extensively and the studies generally show it has a very high sensitivity rate as well as a high specificity rate when used on non contaminated surfaces. DIAGNOdent at times may show a false positive reading when an occlusal surface is contaminated with calculus, plaque, prophy pastes or other foreign materials.

This early detection allows for a conservative surgical approach that simply removes the diseased tooth surface . Once the disease is removed we can place a small resin restoration and maintain significant amounts of healthy tooth structure . 

After teeth examination by Dagnodent we instruct the patient on proper hygiene and dietary habits. We Place the patient on home care products that help manage the disease process, such as fluoride rinses, fluoride toothpastes, xylitol, chlorhexidene and amorphous calcium phosphate pastes. 

The ultimate goal is for us to manage caries as a disease. If and when surgical intervention must occur, technology such as the DIAGNOdent Pen will allow for minimally invasive preparations, so vast amounts of healthy tooth structure are preserved.


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